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Smart growth increases tax yield, says expert

Sandra Clark

Joe Minicozzi says we must look at land like a farmer does – analyze it for best production.

The architect and Harvard-educated urban designer was in town last week, talking with policy makers about land use. Through his consulting firm, Urban3 LLC, he’s created a 3-dimension computer model to explain the tax yield of property for those who hold the power to rezone it.

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Union County is region’s ‘next big thing’

Sandra Clark

Roads, jobs, retail top county goals

If you’re thinking about building or expanding a business, look north to Union County. State funding is available to help stimulate growth in 23 so-called distressed counties. Union County is the closest to Knoxville.

It made the list with unemployment of 11.4 percent, per capita income of $18,000 and a poverty rate of 22 percent, according to the state’s most recent reports. Many residents drive to Knox County to shop and work.

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UT set to escalate administrative salaries

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Beverly Davenport, likely to be approved as UT Knoxville chancellor by the UT Board of Trustees in a week, certainly knows how to cut herself a great salary deal at $585,000 a year plus $20,000 in annual housing allowance plus $20,000 in expenses plus $87,775 in annual bonus (likely to be approved, too) for a total package of $712,775 a year if it all comes together.

Some suggest she is taking a pay cut as it is less than the $615,000 she is making as interim president of the University of Cincinnati, but that is a different position from the Knoxville job, and while UT did not reveal what she made as provost, a quick check on Google shows that her salary was $200,000 less than her salary as interim president at UC. In other words, she really got a huge pay raise by coming to UTK.

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Another amazing traveler

Dr. Bob Collier
Nature notes

Bird migration is one of the major wonders of nature. It can produce amazing surprises that bring wonder and joy to the ever-seeking crowd of faithful birders out there, hoping for one more rare bird to show up in their part of the world.

Five years ago this January, I wrote about the rarest traveler we’d ever seen, a hooded crane from the remote bogs of inner Siberia. Probably the first of its kind to ever be seen in North America, it was discovered down near Chattanooga at the Hiwassee Refuge, hanging out with several thousand of its newest best friends, the sandhill cranes.

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Rider, Tindell to square off in council race

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Candidates in the next city election cycle will be making formal announcements soon, and although a multitude of rumors swirl about the mayor’s race in 2019, no one has gone public yet. On the other hand, the District 4 City Council seat that Holston Hills resident Nick Della Volpe will vacate in December 2017 is drawing high-quality, high profile competition.

Lauren Rider, former president of the Old North Knoxville Neighborhood Association, plans to announce her candidacy after the holidays. Rider, a librarian at the Pellissippi State Division Street campus, is co-chair of the Broadway Corridor Taskforce and has been active in community issues since she moved to Knoxville 12 years ago.

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